November 3, 2014

Exceptions To Sex Offender Housing Law

Note: When a law is enacted and within it there are exceptions/provisions only applicable based on some date, then the law has an ex post facto element to it; for some -those before the date- are free from the provision/s of the law. Punishment before the date, not after the date; law can be crazy.
11-3-2014 South Dakota:

SIOUX FALLS, SD - Community safety zones can be found throughout Sioux Falls, areas where people on the South Dakota Sex Offender Registry cannot live.

"It's a 500-foot restriction for registered offenders. They cannot reside within that 500-foot level from basically your schools, parks, playgrounds and pools. Those are municipal properties," Detective Ron Harris said.

Anyone can go on the registry to find out if a sex offender lives in their neighborhood. After looking at several locations in Sioux Falls, we found community safe zones where a registered sex offender can be found, including a home near Eugene Field Elementary and another home near Axtell Park School.

"There are exceptions to that. It allows people to live inside that boundary, so it's not a 100 percent exclusionary zone," Harris said.

There are eight exceptions laid out in state law including if a person is under 18 when they're convicted, if they've lived there before the law was put in place in 2006 and if a community safety zone was created after they moved in.

"As a person comes in to register and provides that address that's checked into the computer and it gives us the radius right there. So, these individuals that are inside that radius would've already been cleared," Harris said.

The exceptions to the 500-foot rule don't sit well with people who call about an offender in their neighborhood.

"I get phone calls constantly about that issue and basically it's laid out in state law. So you really can't contest or argue it," Harris said.

The sex offender registry is meant to be a public awareness tool, not something that others can use against the people found on the registry.

"It's against state law to utilize the sex offender registry information to harass or punish someone because they're your neighbor," Harris said.

Harris says that one thing that can override the exemptions is a court order. A judge could still rule that a sex offender who meets one of those points has to move. ..Source.. by Jared Ransom

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